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Former St. Tammany sheriff out on bond after aggravated rape, incest arrest

3 months 2 days 11 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 June 14, 2019 1:05 PM June 14, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: WWL

ST. TAMMANY PARISH - Reports say former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been arrested on charges of aggravated rape, aggravated incest and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Strain was apparently arrested by sheriff's deputies as he left his house Tuesday.

WWL reports an investigation into a kickback scheme last year stemmed into a whole new investigation concerning sex crimes. That investigation reportedly revealed two employees of a work-release program run by Strain’s office claimed he'd sexually abused them.

At least four accusers came forward alleging abuse over the course of decades. A former inmate also claimed a teenaged Strain sexually abused him when he was just 6 years old.

District Attorney Warren Montgomery says his office will release more information at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Strain's attorney, Billy Gibbens, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Officials say Montgomery's office has been overseeing an investigation into Strain on allegations that he sexually abused multiple minors while in office.

Strain was released from jail Friday on a $400,000 bond.

Sheriff Randy Smith released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

Since first taking office, I have been actively involved in seeking justice for the atrocities alleged by victims on this parish’s former sheriff. The information I learned throughout the investigation was deeply disturbing especially because of the severity of the alleged crimes. Not only did we assist in the criminal investigation of the former sheriff, but I was also duty-bound to determine if any of the sheriff’s associates or colleagues were complicit or aware of any of the information that we learned upon investigating. The revelations led me to make several changes in the upper ranks of the Sheriff’s Office.

There is no room for a good ole’ boys’ network in law enforcement, especially one that may be willing to put friendship over law. The actions alleged against the former sheriff are disgraceful and shocking. Today’s indictment of the former sheriff should illustrate St. Tammany’s disdain for corruption or criminal actions of all kinds. I would like to commend the State Police and District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office for their thorough investigation.

In the coming days, I am sure more facts will come to light to further explain Jack Strain’s behavior and the depth of the corruption within Jack Strain’s administration. I can assure the citizens of this Parish that not only have we rebuilt this agency as a no-nonsense law enforcement division that takes its role in our community seriously, but today’s news only further motivates us to continue reinforcing our mission to protect and serve with the highest integrity.

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